Proximity Aware Wearable Technology in Interactive Environments
The goal of this project was to create a wearable product that interacts with the environment. We imagined many users each having a garment that changed with the room. Each room would have its own color that would affect the light emitted by the wearable. The color would also transfer from user to user and user to room based on time and proximity. Photos and programming by Zane Cochran.
We wanted the design of the wearables to not only look good while the LEDs were on, but when they were off. For the dress, we chose a striped chiffon to be able to withstand the weight of the LEDs, but also to create diaphanous high-end dress with subtle playfulness even when the LEDs were off. The men’s garment was a suit jacket in which we sewed a long, white satin pocket to insert the LEDs. The design of the jacket is meant to be more subtle than the woman’s and complement the dress.
Our hardest problem was preventing the LED strips appearing as individual “dots.” We tried to diffuse them as much as possible by creating several layered “pockets” made of thick satin. The pattern was drafted by first draping the fabric on a dress form. Eventually, we chose to combine 4 half circles to create the look we wanted. The flat part of each circle was used as the neckline and side seam. We added a hole to the side seam for a belt in order to cinch the front into a flattering shape but leave the back open and cape-like.
Furniture included a chair, floor lamp, and hanging lamp. The LEDs were placed in a way to mimic the look of the garments. The light in environments is elastic, reverting back to its original color as users move away. For example, if a person wearing a blue lit dress moves into the red lit room to talk to red lit people, the garments close to each other would begin turning purple, and eventually the room would, too. This colored light exchange can be use to map interactions between participants at meetings, clubs, conferences, or any social gathering.